Lastly, Jason Fisher provides a straighforward study of the origin of the three elven rings. He points out that the final names and attributions to their wearers were given relatively late (first galley proofs). He establishes likely reasons for Tolkien allocating the ring of fire to Gandalf, the ring of air to Elrond, and the ring of water to Galadriel and shows how he strengthens the bond between wearer and ring by means of textual allusions. Finally, Fisher unearths a nice piece of ‘Tolkienian depth’ by paralleling the fate of the three silmarils — which find their final resting-places in the sky, the ocean, and the fires of the earth, respectively — with the three elven rings, so that it may indeed by not surprising that Elrond, the descendant of Eärendil who ‘carries’ one of the silmarils across the sky each night, is given the ring of air. (p. 261, ego-stroking emphasis added :)It’s so nice to be read! My thanks to Thomas for the review.
Monday, December 21, 2009
A short review of “Three Rings”
Last May, I learned that one of my essays was being reviewed in the new issue of Hither Shore, then still forthcoming. That issue (Volume 5) is now in print, and most of it is available on Google Books. Having duly perused it, I also found a review in English of Tolkien Studies, Volume 5 (2008) by Thomas Honegger (running on pages 259–62), in which my essay, “Three Rings for—Whom Exactly? And Why? Justifying the Disposition of the Three Elven Rings” received the following favorable comments: